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Associated Press, Published September 14 2013

Minn. doctor skates to rescue after hockey player hurt

EDINA, Minn. – A recreational hockey player in Edina had an artery sev-ered in his neck when another skater’s blade sliced him, but a teammate who happened to be a doctor was able to stabilize him until he could get to the hospital.

Tony Proel was playing at the Minnesota Made Ice Center this past week when another skater fell over and his blade swiped across Proel’s neck.

Teammates immediately recognized it was a serious wound. They could see blood squirting through Proel’s fingers as he tried to stop the flow.

Proel didn’t realize it but one of his teammates, Dan Gruenstein, is a pedi-atric cardiologist. Gruenstein rushed over and immediately applied pressure to Proel’s wound.

“I could actually see the artery severed where the blood was pulsating from,” Gruenstein said. “So, I just slapped my hand on it. It doesn’t take a doctor to stop bleeding. Anybody with a hand can stop bleeding.”

Proel was taken to a hospital, where doctors stitched up the wound.

He has since recovered enough to return to the ice, where he and his teammates have learned an important lesson: They always wear neck guards when they play. Proel said he hoped parents of young hockey players will also learn from his accident and make neck guards mandatory safety equipment for their kids as well.